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Bryant, Radmanovic help Lakers burn Suns

Nov 21, 2008 - 7:35 AM PHOENIX (Ticker) -- Kobe Bryant scored 24 points and Vladimir Radmanovic connected on five 3-pointers as the Los Angeles Lakers stormed past the Phoenix Suns, 105-92, on Thursday.

The Lakers enjoyed a 50-44 halftime lead and broke the game open in the third quarter as Bryant and Radmanovic orchestrated the attack. When Bryant found Lamar Odom with a pretty pass on the baseline in the final minute, the lead mushroomed to 13 points at 80-67.

"There is no secret ingredient or anything. Tonight I hit my shots," Radmanovic said. "The guys were finding me and I had some rhythm shots.

"I didn't make some open shots (earlier in the season) and I don't get 20 shots a game, so if I miss three or four shots that is pretty much it - so I am trying to do other things on the court. "

Los Angeles continued to roll in the fourth quarter as Odom added to the attack. He finished with 13 points and nine rebounds. The lead ballooned to 89-71 with 8:33 left, forcing the Suns to call a timeout.

Amare Stoudemire led the Suns with 21 points. He had an off-night from the field, shooting 9-for-21. He said the team is still adjusting to Terry Porter's system, which is far different than Mike D'Antoni's run-and-stun attack.

"Sometimes, we have to figure it out. There is a different feel out there," Stoudemire said. "We have to figure out where we want the ball to be. Anytime you are hit with a new offense it will take some time to adjust. We played so well with our fast break with Coach D'Antoni, with Terry Porter it is a little different.

Shaquille O'Neal added 15 points and nine rebounds. He was played evenly by Lakers big man Andrew Bynum, who finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes after encountering foul trouble in the first half.

"They were doubling me," O'Neal said. "For an old man, I still demand a double- or triple-team and I try to get it to my guys.

"We can't make mistakes against a good Laker team. The times we have lost we have turned the ball over way too many times and we haven't shot well. If we can take care of one or two of those problems, we should be fine."

Steve Nash had a quiet night with eight points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field - 0-for-4 from behind the arc - and 10 assists.

"We really have to take along look at our turnovers," Porter said of his team's 15 giveaways. "That is something we really have to get under control from Day One. They score 105 points and 21 are off our turnovers. At times, we made bad decisions and that is what put us behind the eight ball.

Led by Radmanovic, the Lakers shot 10-of-21 from behind the arc. The Suns hit 6-of-18 from long range.

"It makes a big difference," Los Angeles coach Phil Jackson said. "Tonight, he really changed his game around. We were kidding him about not making a shot last week."

Bryant wasn't on from the field, going 8-for-23. However his teammates picked up the slack, shooting 34-of-67, better than 50 percent.

"It is amazing that this year might be the first season I average on 31 minutes," Bryant said. "We have been blowing teams out and I have been sitting the whole fourth quarter. (My scoring average is lower) because I have been playing 31 minutes.

"It is always nice to come in here and get a win and play well because of all the things that have happened in the past. We feel that it is our turn now."

The Lakers' depth proved too much as six players finished in double figures and the reserves outscored their Suns counterparts, 43-30.

"Defensively, we were pretty good but the Suns missed a lot of easy shots tonight and we got a way with it," Jackson said. "It's a nice victory. It's an early season victory, in-conference victory, in-division. Now we've got to go back and make sure this back-to-back (the Lakers host Denver on Friday) is a success.

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